Religious and Medical Exemptions from COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement

Molloy College is requiring all students and employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Students must be fully vaccinated by August 25th and employees must be fully vaccinated by September 1st. Thank you to everyone who has completed the COVID-19 Vaccination Form and uploaded proof of vaccination.

The College will allow for medical and religious exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement in accordance with applicable state and federal laws. Please note that requesting a medical or religious exemption does not guarantee that it will be granted.

How to Submit a Request for a Religious or Medical Exemption

Students or employees who cannot be vaccinated for COVID-19 because of a medical reason or sincerely held religious belief, practice or observance may request an exemption through the College. Exemptions or reasonable accommodations are not guaranteed.

Individuals who wish to apply for a medical or religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination must complete and submit the applicable exemption request form no later than August 18, 2021.

Religious and Medical Exemption forms can be found on the Molloy Health Portal welcome page under Related Links.

Processing of Religious and Medical Exemption Requests

Exemption request forms and related documentation should be uploaded to the Molloy Health Portal.

Designated Review Committee members will review and evaluate completed request forms with supporting documentation.

Please allow at least 10 business days for your request to be processed. After your request has been reviewed and processed, you will be notified, in writing, if an exemption has been granted or denied. A denial decision for a student may be appealed to the Vice President for Student Affairs; a denial decision for an employee may be appealed to the Vice President for Finance. See the “Exemption Denial” section below for additional details on the appeals process. Individuals are also permitted to reapply if new documentation and information should become available.

Guidelines for requesting exemption from COVID-19 vaccination

Medical Exemption

The College, in its sole discretion, may grant a medical exemption if a licensed physician or licensed nurse practitioner certifies in writing that the COVID-19 vaccination may be detrimental to the individual’s health or is otherwise medically contraindicated. The medical provider’s written certification:

  • Must include a statement indicating which vaccine may be detrimental, including a detailed explanation of the valid medical basis for such determination, and the length of time for which it may be detrimental.
  • Should be based on the most recent guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

 

The College may, in its sole discretion, require additional supporting documentation.

For a medical exemption based on a temporary medical condition, the College will grant a medical exemption on a temporary basis up to the point when the condition supporting the exemption is expected to resolve or expire.

For a medical exemption related to a permanent condition, the College will grant a continuous exemption.

Religious Exemption

The College, in its sole discretion, may grant a religious exemption if an employee, student, or a minor student’s parent or guardian, certifies in writing that the employee or student holds genuine and sincere religious beliefs which are contrary to the practice of immunization. The request for exemption must describe with specificity the religious principles that guide the objection to immunization. This includes:

  • The length of time the individual has adhered to the principles and practice of their faith;
  • The impact the individual’s religious beliefs have on other medically related matters, including whether the individual is opposed to all immunizations, and if not, the religious basis that prohibits particular immunizations;
  • Clarification regarding whether all (or most) practitioners of this faith also adhere to the practice of refusing immunizations; and
  • A statement of how the employee or student (or student’s parent, if student is under 18 years of age) feels accepting immunization would compromise their beliefs.

 

Those submitting a request for a religious exemption must also submit a written statement of at least 250 words attesting that their sincerely held religious beliefs prevent them from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

The College may, in its sole discretion, require additional supporting documentation.

Safety Protocols Required

If an exemption request is granted, the exempted individual will be required to comply with additional Molloy safety protocols, including masking, ongoing testing requirements, and/or may temporarily be excluded from certain facilities or activities, to protect the health and safety of the exempted individual and the community in accordance with public health guidelines and College policies.

Exemption Denial

Students

To appeal an exemption denial, a student must submit an appeal via email to the Vice President for Student Affairs with their initial application and a short statement of why the student believes the appeal should be granted. This appeal must be submitted within two business days of the receipt of the communication that the exemption request was denied. If the appeal is not filed within two business days, the denial will be deemed final and the student required to begin the vaccination process by August 25.

If an exemption appeal is denied, the student must begin the vaccination process by August 25.

Failure to comply with the College’s vaccination requirement will result in consequences up to and including de-enrollment. The consequences of de-enrollment include: being dropped from and unable to attend in-person classes; if you live on campus, being required to vacate your residence hall; and being prevented from coming to campus.

Employees

To appeal an exemption denial, an employee must submit an appeal via email to the Vice President for Finance with their initial application and a short statement of why the employee believes the appeal should be granted. This appeal must be submitted within two business days of the receipt of the communication that the exemption request was denied. If the appeal is not filed within two business days, the denial will be deemed final and the employee is required to begin the vaccination process by September 1.

If an exemption appeal is denied, the employee must begin the immunization process by September 1.

To continue employment at the College, employees must comply with the College’s vaccination requirement. If an employee fails to comply by September 1, they will be placed on a two-week unpaid notice period during which time they may reconsider their desire to continue employment at the College. If they begin the vaccination process during this period, they will be reinstated immediately. If the vaccination process is not initiated by September 15th, disciplinary proceedings will commence up to and including termination of employment.